2024-07-11 19:43:20
Obesity, Dogs

Obesity in Dogs | Common Causes and Effective Preventions

In the United States, obesity in dogs ranks first among all medical conditions.

This is becoming an increasingly severe problem; therefore, we must determine what causes it and how to stop it.

The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention reported that pet obesity rates in the US have been rising continuously for decades.

In 2022, researchers found that 61% of cats and 59% of dogs were overweight. These disturbing numbers motivate pet owners and vets to act on this problem.

This blog post will define canine obesity, discuss its causes, and offer some practical advice for keeping your dog in good condition and a trim figure.

What is Obesity in Dogs?

Dog obesity, like human obesity, is excessive bodily fat. A dog is obese if it weighs more than 15% more than its breed and age. This extra weight might harm your dog's health and appearance.

Signs that Indicate Your Dog Is Obese

Below are the common signs that represent signs of obesity in dogs.

       Bigger round face. 

       Excessive panting

       Tiredness most of the time

       Refusal to play or move

       Slow walking or running

       Abdominal sagging

       Tricky to observe ribs, waistline, and/or spine.

Common Causes of Obesity in Dogs

What causes obesity in dogs?

2 main factors contribute to dog obesity:

1.     Calorie Imbalance

This means your dog consumes more calories than it burns off.

Excess calories are stored as fat, leading to weight gain over time.

2.     Predisposing Factors

Certain things can make some dogs more susceptible to obesity.

These include:


Some breeds, like Labrador Retrievers, Rottweilers, Dalmatians, Dachshunds, Cocker Spaniels, and Beagles, are naturally more prone to weight gain due to their metabolism or tendencies to overeat.


Middle-aged dogs (roughly 6-10 years old) are more at risk of obesity compared to younger or senior pups.


Less active dogs or those with limited mobility due to orthopedic conditions are more likely to gain weight.

        Neutering or Spaying:

These procedures can slightly decrease a dog's metabolism, so adjusting their food intake might be necessary.

How to Prevent Obesity in Dogs?

Preventing canine obesity is achievable!

Here are some key strategies for juveniles and adult dogs to keep them healthy:

Obesity in Puppies

Draw growth curves for puppies.

Prevent obesity at this period of life because this is crucial for preventing adult obesity. Obesity in young dogs leads to fat cell hyperplasia, which in turn predisposes an adult to obesity.

       Recognize the possibility of gaining weight following neutering.

       Allow the dog for less food.

●       Set up routine weight checks to monitor progress at this point, such as at two, four, three, and six months following neutering.

Obesity in Adult Dogs

       Do not feed ad-lib.

       Maintains regular exercise

       Avoid changing the flavor of your diet too often.

       Talk about managing weight following neutering.

       Promote frequent (3-monthly) weight evaluations.

       Avoid giving appetizing table crumbs and nibbles.

       Maintain optimum body weight by feeding a balanced diet.

       At EVERY visit, weigh and record the weight and condition of each dog.

In Case You Don’t Take the Precautionary Measure

If you are reluctant to observe obesity in dogs for a long term, then be ready for the below serious aftereffects;

       Liver disease


       Diabetes mellitus 

       Cardiac insufficiency.

       Cruciate ligament rupture 

       Intervertebral disk prolapses 

       local pyoderma-like Bacterial infection.

       Respiratory compromise, such as exacerbating tracheal collapse.

       Urinary tract disease, such as urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence

Get an Online Vet Appointment for Dogs-Related Diseases

Effective management of obesity in dogs requires prompt identification and treatment.

If you see any changes in your dog's stride, inability to move about, or excessive weight gain, schedule vet appointment online by simply using the “Search a Vet” platform.

Expert veterinarians from different domains have registered on our platform.

“Search a Vet” will connect you with the nearest vet from the specialty you are looking for. 

For convenience, download our mobile app today!

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